How to Hold Engaging Agile Meetings
Eliminating time-wasting and maximizing productivity during meetings is high on the agenda for most of us.
To accomplish this objective, agile meetings are the way forward. The solution for teams who want to achieve—and do so quickly—the agile methodology ticks those boxes.
In this article, we’ll take a look into a thorough definition of agile meetings, together with tips you can implement to hold engaging agile meetings in your workplace.
What Are Agile Meetings?
To answer this question, we must first ask another, “What is agile?”
Agile is a project management style with a strict focus on streamlining processes. To achieve this, larger projects are broken down into smaller and more manageable tasks. Agile involves “sprints” of work, allowing teams to reflect, alter, and work more productively.
In an agile environment, there’s a loop of continuous feedback. This means that members of an agile team are highly adaptable and quick to embrace ideas that enable them to work more efficiently.
An agile meeting is centered around a specific task or project. It includes a clear objective—with all its team members knowing what is meant to be achieved at the end.
A sprint (also known as a scrum) deploys sets of intervals for teams to dedicate a specific amount of time to each task. At the end of each scrum, all team members assess their output.
The aim of an agile meeting is to lessen non-related discussions. Successful agility requires a DevOps approach—it’s the combination of operations and developer teams that ensures consistent work.
Four Types of Agile Meetings
There are four main types of agile meetings for each stage of sprints:
- Sprint Planning – to identify the tasks to complete in the sprint (a sprint backlog).
- Daily Scrum – to track team progress and ensure the project is on track.
- Sprint Review – for the team to demonstrate their work.
- Sprint Retrospective – to look at key elements to improve for next time.
Want More Career-focused News? Subscribe to Build Your Career Newsletter Today!
How to Hold Engaging Sprint Planning Meetings
A sprint planning meeting is held on the first day of the sprint.
To raise engagement levels during sprint planning meetings, it’s essential that everyone is on the same page. To achieve this:
- Seek to break down user stories into smaller tasks by assigning each task to specific team members.
- For each task or user story, set an approximate due date—use a Google Calendar integration or similar so this is crystal clear for everyone on the team.
- For unavailable team members, keep them up to speed with a video call detailing sprint expectations and due dates.
- Implement boards to demonstrate sprint tasks—this visual tool aids engagement levels.
Free to use image sourced from Pixabay
How to Hold Engaging Daily Scrum Meetings
This short daily meeting of around 15 minutes looks at the project’s progress thus far and what the team needs to achieve during the next day.
Ask your team members the following questions at the beginning of every daily scrum:
- What did they complete/work on during the previous work day?
- What will they work on today?
- What roadblocks did they experience?
- How close are you to hitting your sprint goals?
- Do you need anything from the wider team?
The feeling of accountability is a sense of engagement in itself and promotes clear communication throughout the team.
To keep your daily scrum meetings engaging:
- The daily scrum meeting should be a routine—so set it for the same place and time every day.
- Ask all members of the development team to contribute to the meeting. For remote team members, use web conferencing to enable them to take their turns.
- Ensure that the scrum master only facilitates tasks related to the current sprint backlog.
How to Hold Engaging Sprint Review Meetings
During sprint review meetings, your team must answer questions like:
- Which tasks have been completed?
- What were you unable to complete in the last sprint that still needs to be completed?
- What new features have been added?
- What’s the minimum viable product to demonstrate success?
- What bugs have been fixed?
Encourage your team to be demonstrative about how the product they’re working on provides end-user value.
Free to use image sourced from Unsplash
To maintain engagement during sprint review meetings:
- Encourage the team leader to present a mock demonstration. This paves the way for the rest of the team to have the confidence to do it themselves in due course.
- Provide clear and effective communication strategies for your team to get aligned on the most urgent tasks in the sprint.
How to Hold Engaging Sprint Retrospective Meetings
These meetings are to discuss what was successful, what wasn’t, and what you can learn for next time.
Working together as a team to provide and receive feedback is critical for this type of agile meeting. Soon enough, teams will come up with agile solutions for improvements in the next sprint.
Think about engaging questions like:
- What stopped you from achieving your goals or your best work?
- What methods should we remove, and which should we keep?
- Which methods should we change for next time?
To make the most of engagement opportunities, take care not to let team members blame each other for issues arising throughout the sprint—such as hosted VoIP issues. Because sprint retrospective meetings can be fairly long, use them as a chance to socialize with the rest of the team—and congratulate each other on another sprint well done.
The Future Is Agile
Striving to make agile meetings engaging is crucial to the success of your agile development team and business operations overall.
After all, engaging meetings can improve collaboration, increase motivation, and deliver better problem-solving. Focus on creating an open and inclusive environment, encouraging participation from all team members, and using a variety of interactive techniques to keep everyone involved.
By taking the time to make agile meetings engaging, you can unlock the true potential of your teams and achieve better results in less time.
So before you touch that meeting scheduler, ensure you’ve got everything prepared to set up for an engaging agile meeting.
About the Writer
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn.
Disclaimer: The author is completely responsible for the content of this article. The opinions expressed are their own and do not represent IEEE’s position nor that of the Computer Society nor its Leadership.